For the Rams, and every other team, the NFL Scouting Combine concluded this past Monday, with the receivers and quarterbacks finishing their workouts on Saturday. Former Washington Husky receiver John Ross stole the show without even stepping on the turf for on-field drills after he ran a 4.22 second 40 yard dash in his first, and only attempt, of the day. However, there were many other receivers present who helped their draft stock with impressive workouts.
Currently, the Los Angeles Rams hold the 37th overall selection in the draft, which will come in the second round. If they choose to use it on a receiver, they will likely have a talented bunch to pick from. The four most experienced Rams’ receivers, two coming off their rookie season, currently under contract for next season are: Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas and Bradley Marquez. Despite being young and raw developmental players, the need for receiver help on paper is quite evident, along with the core’s performance as a whole last year, save for free agent Kenny Britt.
NFL Network’s most respected draft analyst, Mike Mayock ranked his top 5 receiver prospects going into the draft as follows:
Corey Davis, Western Michigan
Mike Williams, Clemson
John Ross, Washington
Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
Zay Jones, East Carolina
Barring any legal setbacks or unforeseen occurrences, it would be a very safe bet that Davis, Williams, and Ross are gone by the time the first round of the draft concludes on April 27th. Jones and Kupp are obviously both talented playmakers, who may or may not be available for LA, but I want to talk about some other prospects outside of Mayock’s top 5.
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A real sleeper in the draft, in my opinion, is Penn State’s Chris Godwin. I first got a real good glimpse of his film during the Rose Bowl this year. He recorded 187 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns in that game, the final collegiate game of his career. He possesses decent size at 6’1 and 210 pounds and ran a 4.42 40 yard dash this past Saturday. Godwin would be a potential fit as a bigger bodied receiver would could stretch the field vertically from outside the numbers for the Rams. Here are some of Godwin’s highlights from 2016.
Another name I continue to see paired with the Rams on almost every mock draft I read, outside of Mayock’s top 5, is JuJu Smith-Schuster. The former standout receiver from USC stands 6’2 220 and is only 20 years old. After watching his film he is a versatile player who can play both inside and outside and makes plays in space after the catch. It would be unfair to judge JuJu based upon the lack of production that USC receivers have had recently in the league, (Nelson Agholor, Marqise Lee, and Robert Woods) he can play ball and be a physical presence, similar to that of Anquan Boldin. Smith-Schuster’s highlights.
The final receiver I want to take a look at is KD Cannon of Baylor. Cannon is a tremendous athlete who can take the top off of a defense and put vertical stress on defensive backs. In an air raid offense at Baylor he recorded 87 catches and found the endzone 13 times in his final season for the Bears. Cannon has the potential to be the home run hitter in a Rams offense that has lacked a consistent deep threat since Chris Givens during his rookie season. Cannon’s highlights.